Things to know

 

What every prospective fish farmer should know!

 

Just to give you a few pointers as to what you really need to know as an aspiring fish farmer, Aquaculture Zimbabwe has drawn the following lessons from working day in day out within the freshwater aquaculture industry over the years:

 

  • There will be many “sweet” promises, promises of funding, markets, expertise and prices but few quality deliveries and as such you will realize that much of what you achieve will be because of your own efforts, dedication, passion and energy. 
  • Fish farming just like any other type of livestock husbandry is a dedicated 24/7, 365 days a year business.
  • The capital and on-the-job effort you put in is proportional to the harvest and the rewards you reap.
  • The opportunities and markets are currently limitless. This is fact!
  • These opportunities and markets will not come to you on a silver platter; you will need the Energy, Drive, Passion and commitment to benefit from them.
  • Aquaculture can provide a lifestyle change, you can farm anywhere but the technology and systems used will ultimately decide on your success. Don’t be fooled that there are no shortcuts, easier and cheaper ways to get established.
  • Tilapia are a warm water fish and grow well within water temperature ranges of 23 - 35 °C and they require excellent water quality, properly formulated feeds and well run stock management systems for success.
  • Fish farming is the fastest growing Agri-business in the world, 10% for the past 5 years, the demand for fish is increasing beyond production capabilities and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.  Local and regional demand is even stronger than export demand.
  • The capital costs of the farm need to be reviewed thoroughly and will depend on the scale of production of the farm. 
  • Additional capital costs may be required, own hatchery, own feed plant, own processing, distribution, etc for sustainable returns on investment.
  • Freshwater aquaculture is a learning experience. Although you may have access to all the technology, literature and expertise you need there will still be lessons to be learnt from the university of life! You are dealing with livestock and the environment.